Career day, big progress, little respite as Ashley Buhay looked ahead at the 2022 AIG Women’s Open

Inbee Park wasn’t shy about paying tribute to AIG Women’s Open captain Ashley Buhay, who dominated this historic tournament on Saturday while playing alongside Park. The 33-year-old leads the field with five shots entering the final round on Sunday at Muirfield.

“She was impeccable,” Park said. I did it at Turnberry in 2015.

That year, Park hit 7 under on the last day of best runner-up Jin Young Koo with three shots. It was a tour in which Park likened to the one that Bohai published on Saturday.

Buhai – the South African who has only one of the top 10 players (fifth single in the 2019 Women’s Open) to line up with 20 missing cuts in 42 previous main starts – fired a 7-under-64 that capped a bogey in the par 4 18The tenth Gap. Prior to that, Bohai had taged eight birds in windy Scottish conditions (winds close to 20 mph, winds close to 30), including five in her first seven holes and a chip in 5 17The tenth.

“To be able to pay that score in those circumstances, you have to be able to pat yourself on the back,” Buhai said. “…Probably one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played.”

Not kidding.

“I wish I had played the golf course I played today,” said Madeleine Sagstrom, who returned seven bullets. “No, great round of golf. (Couldn’t) see the Number 7 outside today. Great job on it, and I think the rest of us are just hoping to find that momentum at the top.”

Park added, “She played perfectly today. I don’t remember making any mistakes today, and even if she did, she ended up getting a birdie like 17. That’s the kind of round you need to be a champion.”

Full field scores from the AIG Women’s Open

However, Park wasn’t quite ready to throw in the towel for her and her fellow competitors. Hinako Shibuno and In Gee Chun, with four major wins between them, tied for second at 9 under while Park, a seven-time major champion, shares fourth place with Sagstrom at 7 under.

This is a lot of experience chasing down a player who has five of the top 25 players in 42 major matches. (Buhai has three LET wins but none in the LPGA.)

“It’s got quite a head start, but like I said, this golf course, with back nine winds like this (Sunday’s forecast calls for similar winds), you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Park said. “And losing three or four shots is really easy. Well, never give up and just try to create some chances. I have to play some good golf just like Ashley today.”

Buhai underestimated her big cushions, too—even if since the Women’s Open became the flagship in 2001, no player has given up a 54-hole lead with four or more shots. Six-shot lists were won by Lorena Ochoa (2007) and An Kyung Kim (2017) by four and two shots, respectively; Jeong Jang (2005) converted a five-shot lead into a four-shot win; and Yani Tseng (2010) won by one by one after leading by four.

“I don’t think you can ever feel comfortable in a major, whether you’re coming from behind or as a major,” Buhai said. “It’s going to be another tough day. The wind will blow, which is good. I like it that way. But they say the big, advanced players are often more difficult, and I think that’s because you’re probably trying to play defensively. But I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and sticking with that.” steps”.

If Buhai did what she did on Saturday, no one would catch her.

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